The Brownlow Medal: Brownlow Thoughts?

Brownlow Thoughts?


Well done Jobe! You are a jet! A superstar! All those other fancy words.

A Brownlow winner! A Brownlow! Hell, yeah.

And, I thought, a damn worthy one! I loved watching you play this year, your hardness. Your want! Geez, you have want! And you seem like a top bloke! Anyone else notice he mentioned the word ‘Family” about 12 times in his interview? He shared the love, shared the thanks.

In 30 years of playing and coaching, I’ve seen boxing coaching make Aussie Rules players. I’ve seen fathers turn their son’s career around. Ex-Champions turn talented wasters around. At every level of the game.

But all three, at the top level? And Sheeds and Hird and Bomber?

Seems like, with all the knockers, and there were knockers a-plenty, you got a great team behind you, Jobe. People to coach that hunger. To goad that want.

Coaches can teach you how to play, where to run, but I reckon you already had that in your genes. It takes a bloke like Greg Williams to teach someone about c%#$!

And it worked.

You weren’t too proud when your wheels were off, you didn’t sook. You went to them, took it in and took on the world. You’re a worthy winner, a worthy Captain, and a worthy bloke, mate!

Of all the games I watched you play this year, the ones I enjoyed most Essendon were losing. Because, no matter if the Bombers were 2 points down, or 100, you gave the exact same damn lot! That, more than any other thing, is why, I reckon, you won.

I voted for you in my heart, time and again.


Jobe won, and 200% deserved it! I was a defender, though, I’d go on a Charlie strike. If the Brownlow is any guide, Watson is worth 4 ¼ times more than the entire All-Australian backline. 30 times more than Sydney’s Grand Final defence, that got a combined tally of one vote.

My mate Ducko said the problem with midfielder bias is the on-ballers are always under the umpy’s nose.

Hm. Maybe goal umpires should sometimes be given a card?


I thought the count itself was a ripper! Andy didn’t pause too long on the hanging votes. The tribute to Jimmy Stynes was so real and true and not overdone. They simply let those who cared most about him speak. Didn’t ruin it with too many slow-mos and shit music.

Just let hearts pour out.

And the AFL’s Community Minded award was a corker, too.

I saw Jarrad Harbrow lead some Suns players in one of a million footy clinics he does up in the Far North over summer, in the poorest of indigenous communities, away from adoring fans, and thought the world of him.

I’d never heard of the Jackson bloke who won the award, but will watch him now, and know stuff. And want to know more. What he’s up to, how he helps. It’s great to see what sort of blokes they are.

The comedy worked, too. The lie detector test, I thought, was a pisser! It revealed a lot.

I like that. To barrack for the players as people. Believe in them, dislike some, love others. Know they’re people, that they’re real. But all I ever see them in these days, ever, is their footy jumper, or team uniforms. Then the Brownlow comes along and all I can see are monkey suits! Pretty much the same monkey suit. Pretty much the same girlfriend.

It’s a big failing.
Martin Pike, while still playing for North Melbourne, was the last AFL payer to get up on a Premiership function stage wearing a floppy t-shirt.

My mate Nugsy, who I watched the Brownlow with, came up with a corker idea.

‘Wouldn’t it be great if one year they told them all to dress for a Sunday barbie? Then we’d know who’s who!”


Is Jobe a father yet? I reckon that’s how he’d dress – easy, like the bloke who cooks the snags. Like most people’s mate, and somebody’s Dad.

Well done, mate! May you go from strength to strength to strength…!



  1. Neil Belford says

    Actually Matt, you make a very good point – Adelaide’s game against Hawthorn was built off halfback too.

    Roland is going to kill you though.

  2. its a good point does a backman get recognised for a punch, a tactical push to the boundry, a shepard to help his fellow backman get a clearance? I dont think so, midfielders are in everything though, push back, push forward, always in the umps sights, good midfielders have always got it!!

    I dont know? great topic.

    Has the game changed with zoning, good half back flanker like wanganeen in 93 won it but has there been any since?

  3. Enright, Mackie, Scarlett – 3 premierships in 5 years and they were the most important players in my book.

  4. PS. There’s been talk this year about “slingshot” strategies employed by teams like the Swans. The Cats have used the half-back line as their launching pad for almost a decade.

  5. Done the maths on it, Neil. Roland and I… tie!! Damn it!

  6. Pete, I love the term slingshot! Fantstic.

  7. Neil Belford says

    Can’t believe it is actually a tie. Have you added up the respective votes

  8. Malby Dangles says

    Some good points made here. There’s no doubting that Carlton has struggled since the retirement of Steve Silvagni in 2001. There are multiple factors why Carlton suffered for so long but one thing was that he provided so much rebound from the backline. With him gone other teams could venture down forward with ease.

  9. Great article Mr Zurbo, I agree Jobe Watson was a worthy winner. I like your point about enjoying Essendon lose (are you a Hawks fan? Joking) because you could see that Watson committed no matter. I liken Watson to Ablett in that sense. In his last season at the Cats, right up to the Prelim where the Pies had it won by Quarter time Ablett always gave 100%. As he has continued to do at the GCS.

    A couple of quick responses to comments following your article: re Pete and back-line slingshot strategy. I believe that’s how the Hawks won the 2008 GF.

    And Neil, Adelaide’s backline may have been good last week but they still let more through scoring shots than the Hawks backline.


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